As expected, Porsche announced today in New York that the 911 GT3R hybrid will be coming to North America later this year to race in the Petit Le Mans (PLM). When the new flywheel hybrid race car was first announced this past spring, Porsche told us that it would make a decision about running in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) after evaluating the new car's performance during its early races in Europe. After coming within two hours of winning the 24 Hours of Nurburgring in May, it was clear that the 25-percent fuel economy boost and extra power was more than enough to make up for the added weight of the hybrid drive.
Since the Automobile Club de l'Ouest has yet to finalize the technical rules for hybrid GT cars, the Porsche will run unclassified at Road Atlanta on October 2. The Georgia race will be the North American round for the inaugural Le Mans Intercontinental Cup. Following the PLM, Porsche will take the car to Zuhai, China for the Asian round on November 7. No announcement has been made yet about running in the European round at Silverstone in the UK in September.
The 911 GT3R hybrid has a 480-horsepower flat-six driving the rear wheels and a pair of 60-kilowatt electric motors for the front wheels. The motors recapture kinetic energy during braking and store it in an electromechanical flywheel mechanism. The flywheel can release energy back to the motors automatically during cruising or the driver can press a boost button on the steering wheel for extra power on demand for passing.
Porsche Announces 911 GT3 R Hybrid Racecar will run at the American Le Mans Series Finale
Petit Le Mans October 2nd at Road Atlanta
ATLANTA – July 21, 2010 – Following the impressive performance at the Nürburgring 24-hour race where the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid demonstrated the potential of its groundbreaking technology over 22 hours and 15 minutes, and led the overall classification for more than eight hours, the orange and white liveried 911 racer will now travel to the USA and Asia.
Porsche has received an invitation to contest the season final of the American Le Mans Series, the race series featuring the world's fastest sport cars, at the 'Petit Le Mans' at Road Atlanta on October 2. The race runs over a distance of 1,000 miles or a maximum of ten hours. The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid will not be eligible for points, as hybrid technology is not yet included in the GT regulations.
For November 7, Porsche then plans to race the 911 GT3 R Hybrid at the season final of the new Le Mans International Cup, the six hour race in Zhuhai, China. Again here, the vehicle is not competing for points.
"After the 911 GT3 R Hybrid's fantastic performance at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we are now eager to gain more experience with the hybrid technology on a variety of race tracks," says Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport. "At the same time, we would like to show fans and customers in our most important markets how our 'race lab' performs under racing conditions," adds Kristen.
The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, featuring two electric motors at the front axle each developing 60 kilowatts to supplement the 480 horsepower normally-aspirated rear-engine, expressly typifies the philosophy of "Porsche Intelligent Performance": Under braking, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid converts kinetic energy into electrical energy and stores it in a flywheel. During acceleration, this energy is automatically delivered to the front wheels, supporting the combustion engine. This leads to a reduction in fuel consumption and increases the cruising range. Moreover, drivers can manually utilize the stored energy with a boost-paddle on the steering wheel for overtaking.
Why Porsche Races
The connection between the Porsche 911 and racing is unlike any that exists in the world of sports cars. To Porsche, motorsports is a breeding ground, a mobile laboratory where engineering ideas are tested under the harsh light of competition. The lessons learned on the race track translate directly to Porsche sports car on the road. To see 911 race cars in action on the world's most challenging tracks is to witness Porsche working out the fundamental questions of performance engineering.
What innovations will make a 911 accelerate faster, stop quicker, steer with more accuracy and corner with higher levels of grip? What efficiencies are still to be achieved in the critical areas of fuel consumption? What technologies can be devised to surround the driver with the most advanced safety systems?
So while there are trophies to compete for, and championships to win, we race for a prize far more relevant: the evolution of real-world performance. One place you'll see Porsche proving its engineering theories on the track is in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Founded in 1999, ALMS is an endurance racing series that has established itself as a vital forum for developing new technologies and transferring them to the street. It has established itself as the most important race series for GT sports cars and prototypes in North America.
Porsche customer teams have more than 100 class wins in the ALMS. And for nine of the 11 years of ALMS' existence, Porsche has earned the GT/GT2 manufacturers title in the ALMS-all with the Porsche 911 GT3 R/RS/RSR family of race cars. Since the 2006 season, Porsche has also been lining up on the starting grid with a prototype in the LMP2 (Le Mans Prototype 2) class: the RS Spyder. In winning the LMP2 manufacturers', drivers' and team championships in 2006, Porsche made an impressive return to prototype racing.
Since 2008, more customer teams have taken their place on the starting grid in the RS Spyder, not only in the ALMS, but also in the European Le Mans Series (LMS) and the legendary Le Mans 24 Hour race. In 2010, RS Spyder continues to write Porsche's story of success in motorsport. With such a commitment to the proving grounds of motorsports, it's not far from the finish line to the Porsche assembly line. The race-ready street versions of the 911 like the GT3 RS are made within the same assembly facilities as all other 911 models.
About Porsche Cars North America, Inc
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga., is the exclusive importer of Porsche vehicles for the United States. PCNA is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing.h.c. F. Porsche AG. It employs 213 people who provide Porsche vehicles, parts, service, marketing and training for its 199 dealers. The dealers, in turn, provide Porsche owners with best-in-class service. Throughout its more than six-decade history, Porsche has developed numerous technologies that have advanced vehicle performance, improved safety and spurred environmental innovations within the automotive industry. The company continues to celebrate its heritage by adding to its long list of motorsports victories dating back to its first 24 Hours of Le Mans class win in 1951. Today, with more than 28,000 victories, Porsche is recognized as the world's most successful brand in sports car racing. PCNA, which imports the iconic 911 series, the highly acclaimed Boxster and Cayman mid-engine sports cars, high-end Cayenne sport utility vehicles and the four-door Panamera Gran Turismos, strives to maintain a standard of excellence, commitment and distinction synonymous with its brand.
Follow us: HYPERLINK "http://www.twitter.com/PorscheNewsWire" www.twitter.com/PorscheNewsWire and HYPERLINK "http://www.facebook.com/Porsche" www.facebook.com/Porsche